ACT Overview Cert III Community Services

Foundation Skills Project
Canberra Institute of Technology
• Industry benchmarks
• Cert IV literacy requirement = minimum ACSF 3
• Cert IV & caseworker role require ACSF 3-5
• Oral/written literacy critical in terms of caseworker performance
• Cert III = Government imperative
• Pressure is opportunity in disguise
• Target to improve Cert IV training outcomes
Writing memoranda, emails etc.
Report writing
Case notes & case plans
Interagency networking & consultation
Briefing & debriefings
Facilitating group meetings & discussions
Providing feedback
Resolving conflict
Negotiating resources
Understanding/implementing legislation
• Broad range of abilities &
learning experiences
• Mature age students
• Managers, financiers, etc.
• University training
• Career change
• Traumatic events as trigger
• International students
• Refugees with significant
educational deficits
Disadvantaged people
Disrupted school careers
Low self-esteem
Learning difficulties
Psychological issues in past
Family disturbance
Stigma & labelling
Eloquence vs major literacy
• Motivated & empathetic
Certificate III in Community Services
Government imperative
Entry level for students wanting to undertake Certificate IV
6 month program
Communication skills focus
Basic communication principles
Communication style
Group dynamics
Case notes
Report writing
Inter-agency cooperation
• Few students at ACSF Level 1
• Significant number of students in ACSF 2 range
• Majority of students at ACSF 3 level
• Limited number of students solidly in ACSF 4-5 range
• Students attending class but not completing assessment
• Retention rates
Work-based learning
Core casework tasks
Use of casework concepts
Oral & written activities based
around casework scenarios
Reflective practice
Immediacy of feedback
Practical application
Progressive assessment
Developing a communication
range/style (DISC)
Learning styles
Peer learning & review
Targeted learning groups
Tailored learning
Identifying areas requiring
significant development
Individual learning plans
Reflective e-journals
Literacy assessment at
Mastery learning
Desk-top exercises
Role-plays & simulation
Assessment centres
Identify literacy profile of new cohort (test)
Classify level of need
Tailored learning
Identify areas of strength
Target high need groups
Embed FSP units into broader CS program
Assumption: minimum acceptance level into Cert III program is
ACSF 2 (time constraints)
• ACSF Pre-Level 1 – 5
• Structure of literacy training
Level 1 Vocational education
Level 2 Group A
Level 3 Group B
Level 4-5 Group C
• Developing communication
• Group A 4 hours
• Group B 3 hours
• Group C 2 hours
• Participate effectively in the work environment
• Provide first point of contact
• Work within the administrative protocols of the organisation
• Communicate appropriately with clients & colleagues
• Use targeted communication skills to build relationships
FSP units embedded in Cert III Community Services program
Use routine strategies for work-related learning
Write simple workplace texts: printed or digital
Use digital technology for simple workplace tasks
Write routine formal workplace text
FSKLRG11 Foun 119
Use routine strategies for
work relating learning
Participate effectively in the
work environment
Skills and knowledge to
identify learning goals and
Develop a formal learning
plan-vocational and
workplace environment
Identify own
responsibilities, seek
assistance, monitor own
work, plan work activities,
identify own training
needs, develop problem
FSKWTG06 Foun 111
Write simple workplace textsprinted or digital
 e.g. incident reports, shift
motes, emails, messages or
WHS records.
Work within the
administration protocols of
the organisation
e.g. workplace forms,
record information,
completing workplace
FSKDIG02 Foun 114
Use digital technology for
simple workplace tasks
Use targeted communication
skills to build relationships
Identify simple workplace
tasks and appropriate
digital technology, follow
workplace procedures to
perform task using
Exchange information,
interview reports,
feedback forms, emails,
referrals, maintain
networks, produce meeting
agendas/minutes, record
evidence of communication
with clients
FSKGWT07 Foun 188
Write routine formal
workplace text
Provide first point of contact
e.g. identify audience
and purpose of text,
identify text features,
plan writing,
appropriate layout,
punctuation, identify
relevant information
Collect and document
information, reporting
skills, referrals, maintain
client records, client
• Having FSP units as a developmental component of a structured, experiential Cert III
program allows accurate targeting of individual literacy needs
• Integrating FSP units within professional training program allows ongoing assessment &
immediate feedback & increases motivation, engagement & learning
• Experiential learning provides opportunity to practice & make mistakes in a safe
• Under the model, students develop a comfortable familiarity with casework concepts &
terminology and can practice & experiment in their application, building flexibility &
acuity in identifying appropriate language and written expression
• Working in a simulated casework environment means that the immediate practical
application of literacy competence is intuitively recognised and this in itself increases
confidence, motivation & learning transfer

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